While female representation on television should ultimately aim to portray complex women with varying levels of strength and vulnerability — it doesn't hurt to see ladies taking charge on the small screen. What powerful women on TV in 2017 will be inspiring young people and shaping pop culture? There are quite a few characters on new shows to be excited about, and I'm not just talking about the Beaches remake with Idina Menzel and Nia Long on Lifetime.
The past year been particularly good to us in terms of female characters on television, with Issa Rae finally getting an HBO series, Ginny on Pitch, everything about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Eleanor Shellstrop on The Good Place, MTV's Sweet/Vicious, and the return of Lorelai Gilmore. Mindy Kaling continues to dominate. You can expect the literal girl power to return when Nashville, Homeland, and Scandal pick back up in 2017 — to name a few. Samantha Bee's late night show also kept us sane and informed in 2016.
That said, here are a few women coming to television in 2017 who are definitely going to be your new obsessions. From ordinary women to goddesses and queens, this upcoming year is serving up some heroines who pack a punch in a multitude of ways.
1. Colleen Wing, Iron Fist
You already love Jessica Jones, Claire Temple, Trish Walker, and Misty Knight. The latest addition to Netflix's street level heroes wields a freakin' sword.
2. Captain Georgiou, Star Trek: Discovery
I was already way too excited for new Star Trek series, and the fact that Michelle Yeoh is playing a Starfleet Captain is just so much to handle. Knowing Bryan Fuller, there are likely more powerful female characters as yet to be announced.
3. Princess Elizabeth of York, The White Princess
Jodie Comer is helming the Starz spinoff. If you like your powerful women in period garb, this is the way to go.
4. Violet Baudelaire, A Series Of Unfortunate Events
She may not live in a magical or dystopian world, but the eldest Baudelaire orphan is just as resourceful and brave as any YA heroine. Her brother is the bookworm while she is the inventor, a refreshing twist that will hopefully inspire girls everwhere.
5. Zelda Fitzgerald, Z: The Beginning Of Everything
The iconic figure and writer will be portrayed by Christina Ricci in the Amazon series.
6. & 7. Betty and Veronica, Riverdale
They're kind of the original frenemies, but the CW's updated take on the Archie comics is sure to give these infamous ladies an updated edge as well.
8. Offred, The Handmaid's Tale
Margaret Atwood's feminist novel and Elizabeth Moss in the lead role? Sign me up.
9. Lenny Busker, Legion
FX's step into Marvel territory with this X-Men universe drama is mysterious. Aubrey Plaza's character may not be a mutant, but will discover her own power.
10. Dorothy Gale, Emerald City
The sexy adaptation of The Wizard of Oz coming to NBC just oozes power, and the portrayal of Dorothy as a cop has me psyched.
11. & 12. Bilquis and Media, American Gods
Another series from Bryan Fuller, the adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel is about literal gods. What's more powerful than that? Yetide Badaki as Bilquis/The Queen of Sheba and Gillian Anderson as Media are sure to warrant a few praises in 2017.
13. Robin Ellacott, Cormoran Strike
JK Rowling — sorry, Robert Galbraith, is known for their strong female characters. Strike's partner is no exception.
14. Rosaline, Still Star-Crossed
The title might change before this Shakespearean Shondaland series hits the airwaves, but you know it's going to feature a powerful female lead — and Romeo and Juliet's Rosaline is a great place to start.
15. Queen Victoria, Victoria
Women in history don't get much more powerful than this monarch.
16. & 17. Cameron and Sadie, Doubt
Laverne Cox and Katherine Heigl are two of the most powerful women in television in their own right. Put them in a series together, and watch out! Doubt also stars Dreama Walker from Don't Trust The B In Apartment 23.
18. Ashe Akino, Shots Fired
Finally, this event series from Gina Prince-Bythewood focuses on race, police violence, the media — with Sanaa Lathan starring as an investigator. Think, these are just a sampling of the fictional and historical orical women coming to television in 2017. That's not even counting the actors, television personalities, breakout surprises, athletes, and more. Powerful ladies are going to step up and make themselves known, and there's already so much to look forward to (on television) in 2017.
Images: Joe Lederer, Patrick Harbron/Netflix; Ed Herrera/ABC; JoJo Whilden, John Paul Filo/CBS; CBS Studios; Michael Muller/NBC; Giphy; Courtesy of ITV Plc; FOX